Experts are convinced the UK will enter a period of recession in 2023 – and it may be deeper than first expected. Goldman Sachs has predicted the UK economy will shrink by 1% next year, down from its previous forecast of a 0.4% downturn. Energy bills are skyrocketing, corporation tax will increase to 25% from April 2023, and interest rates are climbing fast. The Bank of England predicts inflation will reach as high as 13%, contributing to a cost of living crisis that will affect almost everybody in society.
It’s a difficult time for business leaders. Investments will become harder to justify and many will be looking to find efficiencies to help their organisations survive an economic downturn. But privacy doesn’t have to be on the chopping block, providing organisations invest in the most cost-effective solution.
Privacy boosts trust
During a recession, customers tend to think more carefully about the money they spend. As household budgets tighten, the cash available for non-essential purchases falls and shoppers often shift to buying cheaper brands or do more research before making a purchase. But the more loyal a customer is to a company, the less vulnerable that relationship is to economic swings.
Privacy is a real USP for brands. Tech giants Apple and Google, for example, have been running ad campaigns around how they put privacy at the top of the priority list. A third of UK organisations lose customers after a data breach and four in 10 customers say they won’t return to a business after a security issue.
During a recession, organisations don’t need to give a single customer an excuse to shift elsewhere. They need to inspire confidence. That’s also true for investor relationships – there’s now a much higher bar set for competence around data privacy for those companies seeking investment. Those that don’t get this right may find themselves passed over, or facing unnecessary anxiety.
Hackers increase their activity during downturns
Businesses of all sizes and sectors are vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches. It’s an ever evolving threat that requires regular training and vigilance. But it’s also true that hackers tend to take advantage of a slower economy, becoming more active and utilising new tactics to find vulnerabilities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example around 35% of cyberattacks used previously unseen malware or methods.
According to Accenture, the average number of attempted cyberattacks per company rose 31% between 2020 and 2021, based on its annual survey of more than 4,700 chief information security officers (CISOs) around the world. Eight in 10 said staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle. That supports a recent PwC poll that found business leaders ranked cybersecurity as the number one risk facing their companies, meaning they believe hackers pose a bigger threat than inflation or a recession.
A cost-effective privacy management programme enables organisations to build a culture of continuous privacy compliance for the long term. Hiring a privacy consultant may seem like an easy choice but they will never know a business as well as your own people do (and they can charge upwards of £1,000 a day). The Privacy Compliance Hub on the other hand enables leaders to understand and confidently implement what is required. It provides relatable training content, data protection assurance, and access to powerful reporting tools. Plus the platform starts at only £595 per month.